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Dear Ann,

For a long time I have been making the Young People watch the British detectives (clerical and other), literary costume dramas; basically, anything with a Dowager anybody in it. They are generally good sports, although they draw the line at Rosemary & Thyme, which is a pity. (Two old gals with a gardening business; they show up to restore your medieval medicine garden or get your rosebushes ready for the big wedding, and in the first 10 minutes somebody is found murdered on the grounds, every time.) So it is only fair that when the Young People tell me something is really good and I should watch it, I give it a try. That’s how I found myself bingeing my way through the first series of the Netflix show Stranger Things.

I haven’t seen any of the 1980s movies or TV that Stranger Things supposedly pays homage to–Goonies, Twin Peaks, etc. Basically, I can’t stand to be scared so I avoid the horror genre. (I lost both earrings at the movie theatre watching The Silence of the Lambs, from scrunching down in my seat, trying to hide.) Edith Wharton is about as much of a fright as I can take. (Just thinking of her story All Souls gives me the terrors. It was the last story she wrote–how horrible!)

Stranger Things is a creeptastic spookfest, but not terrifying; it’s even funny at times. It’s fun to alternate episodes of Stranger Things with The Americans; between the two of them the minutiae of daily living in the 1980s are well and truly covered; there must not be an old car or push-button phone left in Hollywood. There are glimpses of Stand By Me, E.T., and also Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  It’s a great cast, especially the child actors.  So, if you’ve got a Netflix subscription, cue it up with some easy knitting, and have a blast.



Something That Is Not Scary
From now through the end of the year, we are tucking a free MDK muslin project bag into the package for every yarn order from the shop. Swagtastic!



  • I didn’t think I would like Stranger Things (being a fan of many of the same British shows that you are) but the Mister and I watched it because everyone seemed to be talking about it, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I especially liked the fact that it was relatively fast to get through (we watched two episodes a night and had gotten through the whole series in less than a week).

  • One of my daughters recommended this and as she is usually right, I watched it and did the whole season in a week. Loved it! (FWIW, she also got me totally engrossed by Orphan Black. Dont let the fact that it is about clones scare you off. Its a long way from Downton Abbey, but it is about friendship and family and loyalty, and there are British accents)

  • Stranger Things also came to me through my children. I loved it, too, for many reasons. It gave my kids and I something to share – they re-watched with me while I watched for the first time, we shared memes and other internet goodies related to the show, and I was able to share with them that this was what life was like when I was their age. There aren’t too many things that we can bond over to the extent that we bonded over Stranger Things.

  • Ooh yes, I just discovered that, I LOVED it – cross between X files and Stand By Me and … I don’t know, I’m still trying to place the slightly goofy heart of gold sherif.

  • We zipped through Stranger Things so fast. It hits the nostalgia button for us (born 1976).

  • I, too, didn’t think Stranger Things would work for me, but I loved it! This weekend, it’s been back to something closer to normal, binge-watching The Crown on Netflix. The reign of Queen Elizabeth II as a soap opera – it’s great! Can’t wait for the second season – we only got to the mid-1950s in the first one.

  • Thanks for the tip! We binged through The Crown while kiddo #1 was home for Thanksgiving break – so proud to have indoctrinated both he and his sister in the joys of British period dramas.

  • Words cannot express how much I loved Stranger Things. The little boys were just so freaking cute! Dustin is my favorite. His lisp is so adorable!

  • Count me in as a Stranger Things fan — like many of you, a recommendation from a son (though a daughter would do just as well for this). I am a fan of Freaks & Geeks — and Stranger Things is kind of like Freaks & Geeks haunted by Stephen King. Kay, you really have to treat yourself to the Goonies – it’s a family tradition at our house and only scary for about 5 minutes. The rest is all nostalgia, now at least. We are lucky to live close enough to actual Goonies places and have made a pilgrimage.

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